Legal Responsibilities
     The following selected sections of the Ohio Revised Code (ORC) are listed below so that the reporting institution
     or individual may fully understand that providing information to the Office of the Coroner is merely to comply
     with the law and that failure to do so would place them in jeopardy of prosecution.

    SECTIONS 313.09
    The Coroner shall keep a complete record of and shall file in the cause of death on the death certificate, in all
    cases coming under his jurisdiction. All records shall be kept in the office of the coroner, but, if no such office
    is maintained, then such records shall be kept in the office of the clerk of the court of common pleas. Such
    records shall be properly indexed, and shall state the name, if known, of every deceased person as described
    in Section 313.12 of the Revised Code, the place where the body was found, date of death, cause of death, and
    all other available information. The report of the coroner and the detailed findings of the autopsy shall be
    attached to the report in each case. The coroner shall promptly deliver, to the prosecuting attorney of the county
    in which such death occurred, copies of all necessary records relating to every death in which, in judgment of
    the coroner or prosecuting attorney, further investigation is advisable. The sheriff of the county, or marshal of
    the village in which the death occurred may be requested to furnish more information or make further
    investigations when requested by the coroner or his deputy. The prosecuting attorney may obtain copies of
    records and such other information as is necessary from the office of the coroner. All records of the coroner
    are the property of the county.

    SECTION 313.11
    (A) No person, without an order from the coroner, any deputy coroner, or an investigator or other person
    designated by the coroner as having authority to issue an order under this section, shall purposely remove
    or disturb the body of any person who has died in the manner described in section 313.12 of the Revised
    Code, or purposely and without such an order disturb the clothing or any article upon or near such a body
    or any of the possessions that the coroner has a duty to store under section 313.14 of the Revised Code.

    (B) It is an affirmative defense to a charge under this section that the offender attempted in good faith
    to rescue or administer life-preserving assistance to the deceased person, even though it is established
    he was dead at the time of the attempted rescue or assistance.

    (C) Whoever violates this section is guilty of unlawfully disturbing a body, a misdemeanor of the fourth degree.

    Who reports the death to the Coroner's Office?
    SECTION 313.12
    When any person dies as a result of criminal or other violent means, by casualty, by suicide, or in any
    suspicious or unusual manner, or when any person, including a child under two years of age, dies
    suddenly when in apparent good health, the physician called in attendance, or any member of an
    ambulance service, emergency squad, or law enforcement agency who obtains knowledge thereof
    arising from his duties, shall immediately notify the office of the coroner of the known facts concerning
    the time, place, manner, and circumstances of the death, and any other information which is required
    pursuant to sections 313.01 to 313.22 of the Revised Code. In such cases, if a request is made for
    cremation, the funeral director called in attendance shall immediately notify the coroner.


    What authority does the Coroner have in regard to investigation
    into the circumstances of the death?

    SECTION 313.13
    (A) The coroner, any deputy coroner, an investigator appointed pursuant to section 313.05 of the
    Revised Code, or any other person the coroner designates as having the authority to act under this
    section may go to the dead body and take charge of it. Whether and when an autopsy is performed
    shall be determined under sections 313.121 [313.12.1] and 313.131[313.13.1] of the Revised Code.
    If an autopsy is performed by the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologists, a detailed description of
    the observations written during the progress of such autopsy, or as soon after such autopsy as
    reasonably possible, and the conclusions drawn from the observations shall be filed in the office of the coroner.

     If he takes charge of and decides to perform, or performs, an autopsy on a dead body under section
     313.121 [313.12.1] or 313.131 [313.13.1] of the Revised Code, the coroner, or in his absence, any
     deputy coroner, under division (E) of section 2108.02 of the Revised Code, may waive his paramount
     right to any donated part of the dead body.

    (B) If the office of the coroner is notified that a person who was the operator of a motor vehicle that
    was involved in an accident or crash was killed in the accident or crash or died as a result of injuries
    suffered in it, the coroner, deputy coroner, or pathologist shall go to the dead body and take charge
    of it and administer a chemical test to the blood of the deceased person to determine the alcohol, drug,
    or alcohol and drug content of the blood. This division does not authorize the coroner, deputy coroner,
    or pathologist to perform an autopsy, and does not affect and shall not be construed as affecting the
    provisions of section 313.131 [313.13.1] of the Revised Code that govern the determination of whether
    and when an autopsy is to be performed.

    SECTION 313.17
    The coroner or deputy coroner may issue subpoenas for such witnesses as are necessary, administer
    to such witnesses the usual oath, and proceed to inquire how the deceased came to his death, whether
    by violence to self or from any other persons, by whom, whether as principals or accessories before or
    after the fact, and all circumstances relating thereto. The testimony of such witnesses shall be reduced
    to writing and subscribed to by them, and with the findings and recognizance's mentioned in this section,
    shall be kept on file in the coroner's office, unless the county fails to provide such an office, in which
    event all such records, findings and recognizance's shall be kept on file in the office of the clerk of the
    court of common pleas. The coroner may cause such witnesses to enter into recognizance, in such sum
    as is proper, for their appearance to give testimony concerning the matter. He may require any such
    witnesses to give security for their attendance, and, if any of them fails to comply with his requirements
    he shall commit such person to the county jail until discharged by due course of law. In case of the failure
    of any person to comply with such subpoena, or on the refusal of a witness to testify to any matter
    regarding which he may lawfully be interrogated, the probate judge, or a judge of the court of common
    pleas, on application of the coroner, shall compel obedience to such subpoena by attachment proceedings
    as for contempt. A report shall be made from the personal observation by the coroner or his deputy of
    the corpse, from the statements of relatives or other persons having any knowledge of the facts, and
    from such other sources of information as are available, or from the autopsy.